Tag Archives: Cooking with Kids

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins


Oats, oats and more oats! I need to blog about something else, but right now, I just can’t stop eating them! This could be partially due to the fact that my husband and I loaded up our pantry with oats, so it’s easy to just reach for them. I’ve been playing with my new whole flax seeds, and I love how they go with oats. In the mornings, I’ve been eating hot oats with coconut milk and whole flax seeds. Mmm! See my previous post here for my thoughts on oats in a gluten free diet.

My son has his last helper day in his 2 year old class tomorrow. I’m really surprised how fast the school year has gone by! I’m going to have a morning off with a friend tomorrow to do some shopping, and my husband is going to be class father! I’m so happy they are going to get a special day together. My only job is to provide the snack! It’s a cool rainy day today, and I really feel like enjoying cinnamon. I chose mini muffins so that they are easy for the kids to eat. Plus, then they can get 2 small ones instead of 1 big one! They’re still at an age when that feels like more!


1 1/2 Cups old fashioned oats
3/4 Cup millet flour
1/4 Cup sorghum flour
1/4 Cup tapioca flour
1/2 Cup brown sugar, organic
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup applesauce
1/2 Cup coconut milk
3 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 Flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxmeal soaked with 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 Cup raisins (optional)

Ingredients for topping:
1/4 Cup oats
1 Tablespoon brown sugar, organic
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance, melted
2 Teaspoons whole flax seeds (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Grease or line with paper a mini muffin or regular muffin pan.

Mix all dry ingredients together (oats, millet flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt) in a mixing bowl until well combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix well applesauce, coconut milk, grapeseed oil and flax egg. Slowly add in dry ingredients. Add raisins or other mix in you might be using.

Prepare topping by mixing together all ingredients well.**

Pour batter first into prepared muffin pans, and then sprinkle with topping. Cook 14 minutes for mini muffins, 20-22 minutes for full size muffins. Cool in pan 1 minute, then transfer to cooling rack.

**Baking with Kids! The topping is easy for a child sidekick to do on his or her own. I use a Guidecraft Kitchen Helper so that my children can safely reach my counter. If you have a microwave that your child can reach, have him or her measure the tablespoon of Earth Balance, and microwave about 20 seconds in a microwave safe bowl until melted. In a child safe bowl, mix the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flax seeds. It’s ok if some spills, this part does not need to be exact! Pour melted Earth Balance over the mixture and continue to stir until nicely coated. After you pour the batter into the muffin pans, allow your child to sprinkle topping over each one! My children are now 2.5 and 4.5, I find this to be a great activity for them!


I’m going to include more ways to involve the kids (besides the cute eating pictures) in my upcoming blog posts! Stay tuned!!


Sharon’s White Bean Vegetable Soup

Sharon N’Diaye is my friend who hosts the Cooking with Kids class at The Ajna Center for Wellness here in Croton.  I love Sharon’s approach to getting preschoolers involved in the preparation of their own meals!
This is part two of a two part series on Sharon’s classes.


Our next recipe is for warm, comforting white bean and vegetable soup! We needed 2-3 cloves garlic, 1/2 package of organic spinach, 2 carrots and 1/2 lb (or half can) of white beans. Salt, pepper, your oil of choice (we used olive oil) and 2 cups of broth of your choice (we used chicken broth).
Our little chefs cut up some garlic, and then they cut spinach and (parboiled) carrots and mashed up some white beans. Some used a masher and some liked to squish them with their fingers. Whatever technique you opt for, so long as they get into the pot, it doesn’t really matter taste-wise!


I sauteed the spinach in the garlic and olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, then our chefs helped me put the veggies and beans into the pot. I sauteed them all up together a minute or two then added the broth to cover the bean mixture an inch or two. I boiled for 5 minutes and simmered for 10 minutes. You can simmer longer if you like for a fuller flavor. 
Then, voila! Soup is ready!

Ingredients for White Bean Vegetable Soup:
2-3 Cloves garlic
1/2 Package of organic spinach
2 Parboiled carrots
1/2 lb (or half can) of white bean
Olive Oil
2 Cups of broth (chicken or vegetable for vegan option)

I hope you like these recipes, and even if you don’t make them with neither a roomful of kids or any kids, they’ll still taste good! To find out more about Cooking With Kids, at the Ajna Center for Wellness & Community in Croton, contact sharonndiaye@gmail.com. We have classes Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30 am.

Sharon’s Plantains

Sharon N’Diaye is my friend who hosts the Cooking with Kids class at The Ajna Center for Wellness here in Croton. My daughter Juliana has taken several of her classes and loves them. Juliana even added plantains to her list of foods she will eat. Although Juliana has no known allergies, she is a picky eater. I love Sharon’s approach to getting preschoolers involved in the preparation of their own meals!
This is part one of a two part series on Sharon’s classes.


Happy New Year!! We are coming off the high spirits of the holidays and January can seem like a bit of a downer in contrast…and with our snow and frigid temps, it’s just the right time for some cozy, warm recipes!!

These recipes are easy and a lot of fun to make with your kids! In fact, I’ve made these recipes with a whole roomful of kids at our Cooking With Kids class.  And the great thing is that they are allergen-free.
The first recipe to share is fried plantains. There are only two ingredients! Oil, really ripe plantains, and you can sprinkle them with sugar cinnamon or salt if you’d like. Our chefs paired this item with a salad. You can do an oil/vinegar/mustard dressing (vinaigrette) or if you’re not sensitive to eggs, you can make “pink” (Russian) dressing by adding a 1/2 cup of mayo with a 1/3 cup of ketchup!
The kids really enjoyed making the plantains. In fact, one particular small chef added plantains to her list of approved foods!

We started with really ripe (black) plantains, which are available in most grocery stores/bodegas. If you get them when they’re yellow or green, you can prepare them in a similar way, but for our purposes here, use the black ones!

The process was so simple and easy, and the kids enjoyed peeling and cutting the plantains. Once the plantains were cut, all we had to do was to heat up some coconut oil (or the oil of your choice) in a skillet / frying pan. Once the oil was hot, we let the plantains sizzle a bit until they were brownish on one side, then I flipped them over! The kids looked, but I took care of the flipping!

When the plantains come off the pan, you can put them on a paper towel covering a plate to soak up some of the oil. If your small chefs are so inclined, they can sprinkle their plantains with salt or cinnamon sugar. Or, if you’re into non-dairy cheese, that can be fun as a topping!

For more info about Cooking with Kids, or to sign up for a class:
sharonndiaye@gmail.com  Facebook: Sharon’s Barefoot Books and Small Cooks
Ingredients for Fried Plaintains:
Black plantains
Coconut oil or other healthy oil for frying
Optional toppings: Cinnamon sugar, salt, or non-dairy cheese
Ingredients for Salad:
Mixed greens (organic is best)
Shredded Red Cabbage (Juliana’s personal favorite!)
Fresh Cilantro
Ingredients for Simple Vinaigrette:
3 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil or similar oil
1 part Vinegar (I like raw organic Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 part Mustard
Ingredients for Pink (Russian) dressing:
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise (vegan mayo for egg allergic)
1/3 Cup Ketchup